24 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2016 7:33 PM by Szalam

    Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?

    KillbotEntertainment

      If i had a $10k - $20k budget, would it be possible for me to build a computer that would allow me to use the Liquify Effect on a 6000 x 3000 canvas and have a smooth response time while painting the distortion?

       

      I currently have an i7-4700MQ core, 16 GB RAM, SSD for the scratch disk, and GeForce GT 740M and it is PAINFUL.  Talking 10 seconds between each brush stroke and absolutely no updating of even the cursor while doing a brush stroke.

       

      I just want a work station where I can, you know, WORK.  I'm tired of spending 4 months on projects that should only take me 2 weeks.

        • 1. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          Which AE version are you using?

          • 2. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
            KillbotEntertainment Level 1

            CC 2015.  I keep up to date with the latest version.

             

            I should also list my specs to higher detail.

             

            The computer is an Envy Laptop.  According to CPU-Z, the mother board is a HP; model: 1966 KBC Version 93.52; Chipset: Intel Haswell Rev.06; Southbridge: Intel HM87 Rev. C2.

            Latest BIOS

            Intel i7-4700MQ core @2.40GHz

            512 GB Samsung SSD 840 Series (that's my only drive)

            NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M

            16 GB DDR3 800MHz

            • 3. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
              KillbotEntertainment Level 1

              I should also mention the full scope of what I'm doing here.

               

               

              I am building this computer to solve a lot of issues. I'm also asking around 3dsMax forums and Photoshop forums and asking similiar questions.  For as much money as I'm putting into this computer i need some guarantees that I'll be fixing some issues that I'm sick and tired of dealing with.  I'm tired of 3ds max viewport turning to crap when I have a large scene that I'm trying to navigate through.  I'm tired of trying to paint on large canvases in Photoshop but having lag in the brush strokes.

               

               

              And I'm tired of dealing with the lag in After Effects with large scenes.  I like to build large scale compositions. That's where I'm the most creative. 40 layers of trap code particle effects that I can adjust till it's just right.  a 6000 x 3000 composition that I pull into another composition as a 3d plane.  All these things crap the hell out and make it impossible for me to play. My only option becomes Prerendering for 30 minutes, making a tiny adjustment, then prerendering for another 30 minutes.  Crawling to the finish line.  And, eventually, having to just render out my incomplete  project, HOPE that I don't change my mind later about the settings (which I of course want to try and adjust later), and then start adding more layers.

               

               

              So i'm mentioning specific examples in each of these threads of situations where things have become completely unmanageable and seeing what people's hardware suggestions are so i can finally create a computer I can sprint on.  This example is purely the "liquify animate a 6000 x 3000 pixel pre-comp". I'm assuming this will work like mud no matter what I do with my current setup. But if it turns out that there's simply something off with my settings or the newest AE, then I'm all ears.

              • 4. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                Dave LaRonde Level 6

                Good luck accomplishing all that stuff on a laptop.

                • 5. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                  KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                  Again this thread is about building a computer.  Not about what I have.

                   

                  You wanted to know about what I'm currently using.  So I listed my software as well as my current computer.  I assumed you were interested in first addressing limitations with my current setup.  Which I'm down for hearing but what I really want to know is what kind of computer you would build with a $10k - $20k budget if your goal was to eliminate this issue altogether.

                   

                  There are many things I don't know about. Like how much different After Effects tools depend on RAM, Processing Power, fast scratch disk write speed - hell, the processor's L2 Cache... I'm not trying to just "build a fast computer",  I'm trying to get a solid understanding of what my hardware choices are going to impact.

                   

                  But yes.  You are correct.  A tower is a good place to start.

                  • 6. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                    KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                    Any thoughts?

                    I'll post what I find as I discover it, but I'd really like some professional opinions as well as some fact checking.

                    So, I've been told that many After Effects tools and plug-ins are processor intensive (not big on GPU), and After Effects itself is incapable of utilizing multi-threading.  So my guess right now is that I can speed up the Liquefy Effect the most by getting a multicore processor with the highest amount of GHz possible.

                    Perhaps an Intel® Core™ i7-5930K Processor (15M Cache, up to 3.70 GHz) with the fastest Ram that matches it (DDR4-2133) and a fitting mother board that boasts the best Front Side Bus I can get (facilitates the data from the Processor).  Like a Z-class Intel motherboard - I've been told they're the highest spec intel mother boards out there.

                    At first I thought I'd get a lot with a pricey Intel XEON processor.  But although they boast tons of cores and HUGE caches, it's hard for me to find one with more than 3 GHz.  And if what I listed above [about After Effects] is true, than I'm better off with i7s with their fast clock speed.

                    But again, all of this is based on loose research.  I can't be sure of the results I'm going to get from any of this.  And if I'm going to spend $20k, then I'd love to hear some solid data that comes from experience.

                    For instance, would more cores help?  Sure multi-threading won't help [according to what I've been told], but what about having more cores?  Are there multiple tasks involved in certain After Effects processes or simply involved with having multiple processes running on a computer that would make having multiple cores speed things up?  Frankly I'm not 100% on what how processes work with multiple cores, so i can't figure out the EXACT benefit to having 14 cores vs 4.

                    Thoughts?

                    • 7. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      After Effects has never done a great job with multiple cores. Back in the day, they tried to make it work a bit with multiprocessing. A major point of AE's architecture change that began in 13.5 is to replace the old and buggy multiprocessing. In the (hopefully near) future, After Effects will be a nicely multithreaded app, but, in the meantime, the higher clock speed is most important when working with AE.

                      On my home machine, I usually work in CC 2015 (because it has snappier interactions and better expression handling) and then render in CC 2014 (since CC 2014 still has multiprocessing).

                       

                      So, for now, higher clock speed is best for working with it and multiple cores are best for rendering (assuming that your project can be rendered with multiprocessing and that you use CC 2014 to render).

                      • 8. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                        KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                        So does that really mean that a $240 AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz processor would run After Effects faster than a $7000 Intel® Xeon® Processor E7-8893 v3 (45M Cache, 3.20 GHz)?

                         

                        And if so, and clock speed is all that matters, then is there anything faster than a AMD FX-9590?

                         

                        All of this is making me wonder how I can possibly get After Effects to really sing.  Are there any other methods available?  Like a unique setup that uses dual graphic cards as processors?  I've heard of unique systems like that.  Makes me wonder if I can rig up something unique just to achieve the higher processing speed.

                        • 9. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          KillbotEntertainment wrote:

                           

                          So does that really mean that a $240 AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz processor would run After Effects faster than a $7000 Intel® Xeon® Processor E7-8893 v3 (45M Cache, 3.20 GHz)?

                          Yes.

                          But that has nothing to do with After Effects; that would be true for many things. That specific AMD chip has a higher clock speed and more cores than that Intel chip. Lots of things will be faster with that particular AMD chip vs. that particular Intel chip.

                          You chose two very specific chips that have one very big difference: the cache on the processor.

                          As far as I know, for rendering stuff in 3d software like Cinema 4D or video software like After Effects, the processor's cache doesn't matter all that much, so for us, that particular Intel chip would be a massive waste of money. You probably could get an Intel i7 chip for a similar price to that AMD chip that would blow that Xeon processor away too for the kind of work we do. Now, if you were running a big data center where the processors were doing a very different kind of work, that bigger cache might make all the difference in the world!

                          • 10. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                            KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                            Wow.  Thanks for the info Szalam.  Seriously.

                             

                            I do still have some other questions though.

                             

                            Is there any processor you know of that would likely be better than the AMD FX-9590 for After Effects?  I'm having a hard time finding anything that has a faster clock speed.

                             

                            And do you have any advice as far as the other components go?

                            • 11. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              KillbotEntertainment wrote:

                               

                              Is there any processor you know of that would likely be better than the AMD FX-9590 for After Effects?  I'm having a hard time finding anything that has a faster clock speed.

                              AMD chips have been getting a bad reputation lately. They keep getting beaten in tests by "inferior" Intel chips. I'd be very cautious about buying one these days.

                              • 12. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                Hey Szalam,

                                 

                                I just got off the phone with Adobe and I was talking with them about processors.  I was told that - specifically with After Effects - they strongly suggest XEON Intel Processors.  They suggested Intels because Adobe products are built with those processors in mind,  and they suggested XEONs specifically due to their superior core count and cache size - and they say that it doesn't matter that they max out at around 3.0 GHz or less per core.  Which directly contradicts everything we concluded in this forum.

                                 

                                I have to go back to the drawing board in figuring this out before I dump a bunch of money into a processor (and a chipset that supports it).

                                 

                                Here's some questions for the community to refresh the debate:

                                 

                                1. With the processor, is raw core speed all that matters (with AE CC 2015 – run-time / scrubbing timeline)? 
                                2. Or, despite what some people say, would I get accelerated run-time performance by getting more cores (despite 2015's loss of "multi-processing")?
                                3. And would getting a larger cache actually help at all?  Or is the amount of data After Effects CC 2015 is able to process per cycle limited? Or am i think about cache incorrectly?


                                I'd also like to mention an interesting point the rep at Adobe brought up: Think of RAM as being divided between your processors.  So if you have a 16 core processor than count your RAM as being divided between each processor.  Which is interesting ... though I don't fully grasp the implications.  Gotta know more about how multiple cores are utilized with After Effects - specifically during non-rendering actions.

                                • 13. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  I was talking from a purely AE point of view and the experiences I've had personally as well as folks I've talked to in real life, Reddit, and here. The faster single core clock speed seems to make a bigger difference while working in AE. Rendering might be different (depending on your project). And thinking of Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, etc. that wouldn't necessarily hold true there either.

                                  If you have the money for two (or more) processors, I would suggest getting them. But if you only have the money for one processor, I'd suggest a higher specced i7 vs. a lower specced Xeon. In single processors, you will get more bang for the buck with an i7 (in my experience).

                                   

                                  The problem with all of this is that how AE uses your system can vary so much from one composition to another!

                                   

                                  But, yes, you will want about 4GB of RAM per core of your processors. That means, if you have dual six-core processors you'll want at least 48 GB of RAM.

                                  • 14. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                    KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                    So it sounds like, for a single core system, the best build would be an Intel® Core™ i7-5960X Processor Extreme Edition (8/16 Cores/Threads, 20M Cache, up to 3.50 GHz) with some top of the line, Z-class Intel motherboard that supports it and 256 GBs of DDR4-2133 GHz RAM.  Plenty of PCI-E slots for a quality NVidia Quadro (even if After Effects won't use it much, Photoshop and 3dsmax will) as well as a couple PCI-E high-I/O SSD drives (one for the OS and another as the scratch disk / cache IF that RAM maxes out, lol)


                                    Do you know of a more fit i-7 than that? Do you have any suggestions for a 2 core system that would be better?  And if you do, would you know how it would stack against the build I listed above?

                                    • 15. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                      Gutter-Fish Level 4

                                      there Xeon processors that outperform any i7's, if you have the money.  CPU's also have limitations on how much RAM they can work with so you might want to do some digging on that as these limitations are rarely if ever listed on most spec sheets.  You need to go to intel's website for this information.  I may be wrong but I don't think there any i7's that can work with 256 gigs of RAM, you will need a Xeon for that.   I think i7's top out at 64 gigs but I may be wrong about that.

                                      • 16. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                        KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                        Actually... it's looking the maximum memory my setup would support is 128 GBs...

                                         

                                        Not the end of the world, but I was hoping for 256.

                                         

                                        Thanks Gutter-Fish.  I just discovered the limitation on motherboards, I'll look a bit further for the processors max as well

                                         

                                        Now I'd DEFINITELY like an example XEON setup outfited for maximum Processor handling of After Effects with 256 GB ram.  And I do have the money.  My budget is around $15k.

                                        • 17. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                          KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                          Balls... that i-7 is capped at 64 GBs. I bet you are right and all i-7s are.

                                           

                                          OK!  Xeons it is.

                                          • 18. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            If you have 15K, definitely get a dual-Xeon setup. If you ever start working in Cinema 4D (a "Lite" version comes free with AE, so GO CRAZY) or any other real 3d application, you'll want that extra processing power.

                                            But, um, 256 GB is a bit of an overkill on the RAM. On the plus side, you won't need to upgrade for a while. And can you imagine how long your 4k previews could be?!?

                                            • 19. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                              KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                              That's exactly it.  Giant previews.  Everything loaded into RAM so I don't need to switch over to inferior Scratch disks.  Even high-IO PCIe SSD drives are slower than RAM, so the more RAM the better.  And - not that I'm wanting to switch this forum to talking about Photoshop - but that was another contributing factor for the high RAM count.  Those Photoshop scratch files get HUGE.  Especially when you make movie posters and banners.  And like After effects, if you've got the RAM, then you don't switch over to scratch disks and you avoid crap stuttering and lagging around.

                                              • 20. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                                KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                                How about:


                                                Asus Z10PE-D16 WS (Z10PE-D16 WS | Motherboards | ASUS USA)

                                                (x2) Intel Xeon E5-2687W 3.1GHz (Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2643 v3 (20M Cache, 3.40 GHz) Specifications)

                                                256 GB DDR4 (2133 MHz) (8 x 32 GB)

                                                PNY Quadro K5200 VCQK5200-PB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133557)

                                                 

                                                That's $10K.  I still need to get 2 high-end Monitors, a nice Ethernet card, possibly a sound card, a case and a nice cooling system throughout (EDIT: and a PSU, lol!). But I could still throw another $2k into the parts I listed if there's something better.  From where I'm standing, I like the versatility of that motherboard, and the Xeons have enough GHz, cache, and cores to meet my needs.

                                                 

                                                What I'm not sure of:

                                                 

                                                Xeons seem to come with error checking that cuts down on crashes, which I'd LOVE.  But I'm not sure if those Xeons have that, or if ALL Xeons have that, or what.  Plus, I felt a little threatened by how much the price on those Processors seemed to vary without a corelating change to core count, cache, or core speed.  I saw 8 core, 3+ GHz, 15Mb cache processors for under $1000 and 4 core, 2 Ghz, 20 Mb cache for $3000.  That might be an exaggeration, but it got close to that. It was enough to make me skeptical about how much I know about processors.

                                                 

                                                Timing and latency tests appear to place a 16 x 16GB Kit as better than a 8 x 32GB one.  Yet a 8 x 32GB one appears to be viewed as superior.  Makes me wonder what I'm missing.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                And of course - in general - I'm curious if I missed something better out there for not much more $. On any of those components.  After reading up on the different families of Xeons, I'm pretty confident in Xeon E5 v3's.  But not much else.

                                                 

                                                Thoughts?

                                                • 21. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  KillbotEntertainment wrote:

                                                   

                                                  Plus, I felt a little threatened by how much the price on those Processors seemed to vary without a corelating change to core count, cache, or core speed. 

                                                  I haven't done enough shopping lately to offer advice on which specific processor to buy. I'll be doing research pretty soon for getting the powers-that-be to upgrade our systems at my full-time job, so I'll be in your boat looking at all of these numbers very shortly!

                                                   

                                                  KillbotEntertainment wrote:

                                                   

                                                  Timing and latency tests appear to place a 16 x 16GB Kit as better than a 8 x 32GB one.  Yet a 8 x 32GB one appears to be viewed as superior.  Makes me wonder what I'm missing.

                                                  I would suspect it's viewed as better because it would be cheaper/easier to upgrade later - you'll have more slots free on your board. I would be surprised if the timing/latency issues made much of a difference in AE work. I'm pretty sure that's more of an issue for database/server types of use.

                                                   

                                                  KillbotEntertainment wrote:

                                                   

                                                  Xeons seem to come with error checking that cuts down on crashes, which I'd LOVE.  But I'm not sure if those Xeons have that, or if ALL Xeons have that, or what.

                                                  I'm pretty sure all Xeons do this, but I'm also pretty sure that it's more relevant to database/server tasks and bears little relevance to the kind of work we do.

                                                  • 22. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                                    KillbotEntertainment Level 1

                                                    Szalam wrote:

                                                    KillbotEntertainment wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Xeons seem to come with error checking that cuts down on crashes, which I'd LOVE.  But I'm not sure if those Xeons have that, or if ALL Xeons have that, or what.

                                                    I'm pretty sure all Xeons do this, but I'm also pretty sure that it's more relevant to database/server tasks and bears little relevance to the kind of work we do.

                                                     

                                                    I can't find it now, but during my search I read that it really helps out with 3d modeling and heavy design software like Adobe.  Cuts down on the crashing.  Personally I've had tons of issues with Adobe and ESPECIALLY 3ds max crashing because it got it's wires crossed. And then there are also those midnight crashes that sabotage my entire world.  Anything to cut down on that crap would be welcomed.

                                                    • 23. Re: Best Hardware for Liquify Tool?
                                                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      Well, it wouldn't hurt to have it if it prevented even one crash!

                                                       

                                                      For what it's worth, I've experienced very few crashes on Windows 7 with CC 2014 or the latest update to CC 2015.